Experiment with round mirrors for your bathroom vanity
From gold plumbing to statement art, these are the looks that are big for bathrooms in 2016.
Standard subway tile is getting a fresh makeover with 2016’s hottest tile trend. “Chevron tiles are huge for bathrooms this year, either on the floor or walls,” says Shirley. “Contrasting grout really helps to highlight tile patterns, and white or dark tiles look great paired with the trendy gold plumbing that’s popping up everywhere.”
It’s all about luxury when it comes to bathrooms this year, with traditional pedestal sinks and porcelain tubs making way for more intricate styles. “Sinks and bathtubs carved out of stone are a super luxe bathroom detail that has been showing up all over the place,” says Shirley. “The travertine stone here is becoming popular again, only this time it has a less tumbled earthy look - with its razor sharp edges, this stone is suddenly modern again.”
The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home, so why not add some personality to the space with your favourite artwork? “Statement art can be a major update for your bathroom, and in 2016 we’ll be seeing pieces that are really colourful or oversized,” says Shirley. “This bright graphic painting makes a big impact in the master bathroom.”
Sometimes all it takes is a fresh update to a standard classic in order to revive a dated space. “Round mirrors are replacing the traditional rectangular shape we’re used to seeing in a bathroom, adding a dynamic, unexpected graphic focal point,” says Shirley. “Pair them with hanging pendant lights or wall sconces on either side, taking the opportunity to mix the blacks and golds that are so hot for 2016.”
“Creative bathroom layouts are always current, especially in small spaces or urban condos,” says Shirley. “Placing a stand-alone tub inside an open shower is a great space saving technique and is a modern update on the standard shower-tub combo.”
Ski the hills at Mont Tremblant
The ultimate Canadian spots and activities to enjoy the colder months from coast-to-coast
The weather outside might be pretty frightful during the winter months, but Canadians are pros at taking the time to enjoy even the coldest of our four seasons. Instead of hibernating, why not enjoy the fun winter activities our country has to offer from coast-to-coast? Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or prefer to cosy up next to the fire indoors, there’s a wintertime activity to suit everyone.
Here are a few of our favourite cold weather activities to indulge in all across Canada, from lacing up our skates at Lake Louise to treating ourselves to a posh afternoon tea in Toronto.
One of Canada’s ultimate bucket list experiences, Quebec’s Ice Hotel attracts visitors from all over the world to stay in its cool but cosy quarters. Made entirely of snow and ice, this unique hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway or a girl’s weekend away, snuggling up under furry blankets or sipping cocktails out of an ice glass at the world famous bar. For more information visit quebecregion.com.
Following a quiet few months after the summer rush, Niagara-on-the-Lake comes to life again in the winter for the popular Niagara Icewine Festival. Taking place on the weekends throughout January 15th - 31st, the festival celebrates one of Canada's most cherished wine varieties, with everything from gala events to winery tours to ornate ice bars. For more information visit niagarawinefestival.com.
Strap on those skis and hit the slopes of Mont Tremblant, one of Eastern Canada’s most beloved ski resorts. With 96 trails for beginners and intermediates alike, this Quebec winter wonderland has been voted one of the best in North America by Ski Magazine and National Geographic. And if après-ski is more of your thing, spend the day sipping spiked hot chocolate in the cosy village restaurants or by the fire at the Fairmont Mont Tremblant. For more information visit tremblant.ca.
Travel to one of the four corners of the earth (literally) and brace yourself against the biting winds and crashing coastlines of Newfoundland’s Fogo Island. Home to less than 3,000 residents, the small island is also home to the architecturally stunning Fogo Island Inn, a modern residence set against rocky Atlantic shores. From February through to the end of March, you can experience a wild, wonderful winter at the boutique inn, with snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and pond hockey for the outdoor-adventurer; and a cosy library, rooftop sauna and hot tubs for the indoorsy crowd. For more information visit fogoislandinn.ca.
Escape the frigid cold and enter a world of warmth and relaxation with a luxurious Hammam & Gommage treatment at the Miraj Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. Unwind in the high-intensity heat chamber, breathing in eucalyptus steam and cleansing your body of toxins, before getting your dried-out winter skin scrubbed down as part of this ultra-luxe Middle Eastern treatment. For more information visit mirajcaudaliespa.com.
Alberta’s most famous body of water is a sparkling turquoise beauty in the summer, but in the colder months, Lake Louise becomes the ultimate winter wonderland. Check-in to the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise before grabbing a cup of hot chocolate and hitting the ice for a skating experience set against one of Canada’s most beautiful natural backdrops. For more information visit fairmont.com.
There are some moments that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime, and the Aurora Borealis comes in close to the top of the list. Head north to the Yukon and settle in at the Northern Lights Resort and Spa, where you can spend your days exploring the nearby wilderness parks before feasting your eyes on the spectacular Northern Lights at night. For more information visit northernlightsyukon.com.
Okay, so an outdoor adventure in the snow isn’t for everyone. If you prefer to experience a winter wonderland from indoors, perch by the window of the ultra-posh Ritz Carlton in Toronto and enjoy good food and good conversation at afternoon tea. Munch on scones and sweets and choose from a selection of teas from Toronto’s own Sloane Tea. Or, if it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, add a glass of champagne and toast to a successful day of avoiding the snow. For more information visit ritzcarlton.com.
No need to head to Norway for an authentic outdoor spa experience – Whistler’s Scandinave Spa is a 20,000 sq. ft. steamy sanctuary just minutes from the village. Perfect after a day on the slopes, the spa features hot and cold pools to dip into, plus saunas, steam rooms and quiet rooms so you can totally relax and rejuvenate. For more information visit scandinave.com.
How to wash your pillows to keep them fresh and clean
Essential cleaning tips for keeping your pillows perfectly fresh and stain-free.
Cover them as you may, but pillows still develop odours and stains. Keep them fresh by washing them every three to six months. Our resourceful research editor, Mary Levitski, tells you how.
1 Start by checking the label for laundering instructions. Most newer pillows can be tossed in the washing machine, but some are dry clean only. Also, some fill materials, such as foam, can’t go in the dryer.
2 Use a front-loading washer (a top-loader isn’t suited for fully submerging a pillow). Select the warm water and gentle cycle settings. Add a bit of mild liquid laundry detergent (the powdered kind is harder to wash off). Insert pillows, ensuring they are not packed in tightly. To completely wash off the detergent, repeat the rinse cycle. Do not use the spin cycle unless your pillows are down.
3 To dry, squeeze out any excess water by hand. Put the pillows through a tumble dry cycle set to low heat. Repeat as necessary until completely dry. Pillows that can’t go in the dryer should be hung on a clothesline or rack.
Make a hotel-worthy bed by washing your linens regularly and ironing them with a scented mist like K. Hall Designs Washed Cotton Linen Water (Au Lit Fine Linens, $25). Trust us, you’ll be dreaming of a late checkout.
To extend the life of your pillows, dress them in protective pillow covers before putting on their cases.
Eco-friendly products to keep your pillows plump
On top of being greener and more cost-effective than dryer sheets, reusable balls also prevent pillows from getting lumpy in the dryer.
Scent your laundry with this Canadian brand’s delectable aromas like Apple Pie and Banana Bread. Tumbler tarts fair trade wool dryer balls, The Laundry Tarts, $30 per pack of 3; Re-scenting kit in Apple Pie, The Laundry Tarts, $13.
The prongs of these cute little rubber balls are great for keeping pillows soft and fluffy. Thermoplastic rubber hedgehog dryer balls, West Elm Market, $9 per pair.
These bright all-natural wool balls soften laundry and cut drying time. Wool Deluxe starter dryer balls, LooHoo, $28 US per pack of 3.
Learn how to get this modern rustic look at home.
Find design inspiration from this modern rustic laundry room.
Designer Orsi Panos creates a playful laundry room that combines both rustic and modern elements.
Tasteful texture: “A laundry room doesn’t have to be serious; I wanted to have fun with texture and make it a playful space,” says designer Orsi Panos of her choice to include walnut-look veneer upper cabinets, heavily veined quartz countertops and slate-look porcelain floor tiles in her clients’ Whitby, Ont., home. She tempered the look with high-gloss grey base cabinets and sleek hardware, which provide a modern edge.
New neutral: Using the clients’ existing navy washer and dryer as the jumping-off point, Orsi painted one wall as well as the laundry room’s exterior door in a corresponding blue hue. “At the end of the day, navy is a neutral to me,” she says. “The colour is subtle enough to work with different materials, and it also complements grey nicely.”
Hanging around: After draping damp clothes on cupboard knobs for a few too many years, the homeowners were desperate for an upgrade. Orsi installed a wall-mounted drying rack, which she says was a worth-while trade-off for less cabinetry space.
Fully functional: The designer was careful to maximize every square inch of space, adding a custom countertop above the washer and dryer for ample folding room, budget-friendly upper and lower cabinets for housing bulky items and pretty baskets and canisters for catch-all purposes.
5 ways to get the look in your own home
1 Brushed nickel laser cut drum light fixture, The Home Depot, $100.
2 Seagrass Savannah laundry basket, Pottery Barn, $99 US.
3 Glass cracker canister, Canadian Tire, from $5.
4 Slate floor tiles in Brazilian black (12" x 24"), Creekside Tile, $7 per sq. ft.
5 Rich navy 50bb 08/171 paint, CIL Paint, prices vary.